Whats Prostate Cancer Staging – The Different Stages That Many People Don’t Know About

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer Stages

Treatment doesn’t just begin for a prostate cancer patient at the immediate instance after he has been diagnosed because the treatment, when it is administered, has to be very precise to the extent to which the cancer has progressed.

It is especially important to note that all the treatments (at least the conventional ones) that are available for prostate cancer have their own respective side effects, which the patient does not have to go through if… if he does not have to.

This is why the cancer has to be stages. There are four stages to prostate cancer:

Stage one prostate cancer, at which point the adenocarcinoma is virtually undetectable by any means save a surgery… something that no surgeon will touch without justifiable causes.

Stage two prostate cancer, in which the tumor has grown enough to possibly be detected by a DRE test, and likely the cancer would have caused a spike in the blood PSA level of the patient.

Stage three prostate cancer would have progressed enough to start to give off a few warning signs as the tumor starts to filter into the bloodstream; and

Stage four prostate cancer is when the cancer has spread to various regions across the body, characterized most noticeably by bone metastasis and bone pain.

The staging of prostate cancer is to determine precisely how far the cancer has spread so that the right kinds of treatment can be given. Further tests therefore have to be carried out, which include an MRI scan, a CT scan, and a ribonucleic bone scan. The MRI – magnetic resonance imaging – is a medical diagnostic technique that combines strong magnetic fields with radio waves and computer technology to create images of the body using the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance.

There is almost no part of the body that is protected from the MRI, so that if metastatic cancer cells are in the body, they will light up like a Christmas tree when observed this way.

The CT or CAT scan is also called computed tomography or computer axial tomography. It is medical technology that makes use of x-rays in producing three dimensional images of the human body, thus providing detailed views of the body’s soft tissues – blood vessels, muscle tissue, and various organs: just what is needed to determine the spread of prostate cancer.

The ribonucleic bone scan is obviously for the determination of bone metastasis of the disease, and the extent of damage done to the bones. It lights up areas of higher and lower bone density as hot and cold spots, neither of which are good news, and allows the doctor to determine just how much be needs to pay attention to the bones if he is going to delay the skeletal complications and slow disease progression.

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